Courtesy of Reuters/Jonathan Ernst The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission logo adorns an office door at the SEC headquarters in Washington, June 24, 2011. Courtesy of Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

The Securities and Exchange Commission has become more aggressive in seeking full hard drives from the companies and individuals it investigates, startling defense lawyers who question whether the agency is allowed to obtain such information.

The big push is an outgrowth of the SEC‘s new state-of-the-art forensics lab, which gives the agency the ability to recover altered or deleted electronic data as it builds insider trading cases and other enforcement actions.

It is part of a larger effort by enforcement authorities, both criminal and civil, to use bolder and more sophisticated tools to nab fraudsters who themselves are becoming savvier.

Defense Lawyers Balk as SEC Makes Play for Hard Drives | DFI News.

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